No matter how well trained your pooch is, you cannot keep an eye on them all the time. But as a pet parent, you just want to keep them happy and safe. So, if your dog has boundary ‘issues’ when out in the yard or garden, then an electric fence could well be the solution.

With the ability to set the range where your pup can safely roam, electric fences are an excellent – and safe – way to give your pet more freedom, without having to keep him on the leash. And, with a choice of wireless fences or a wired fence conveniently buried underground, with an ‘invisible’ electric fenceyou don’t have to ruin the look of your garden in the process.

But which one is best for your canine companion? Our review panel of dog owners have tested out 14 of the best electric fences you can currently buy so you can make the right choice.

A Quick Overview of Our Favorites

Editor's PickProduct NamePriceRating
Best OverallPetSafe Wireless Fence Pet Containment SystemBuy on Amazon4.4
Best Waterproof Extreme Dog Fence Standard Grade KitBuy on Amazon4.2
Best Rechargeable SportDOG Brand Electric Dog FenceBuy on Amazon4.3
Easy to InstallTTPet Electric Dog FenceBuy on Amazon3.8
All Life StagesDogtra E-Fence 3500 Underground Electric FenceBuy on Amazon4.4
Best Wireless PetSafe Stay & Play Dog Wireless FenceBuy on Amazon4.3
Best Safe CollarPet Control HQ Electric Dog Fence SystemBuy on Amazon4.0
Budget PickMASBRILL Electric Dog FenceBuy on Amazon3.4
4 Levels of CorrectionPetSafe Basic In-Ground Electric Dog FenceBuy on Amazon4.1
Best for TrainingCOVONO Electric Dog FenceBuy on Amazon4.0
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

The 14 Top-Rated Electric Dog Fences


1 Best Overall: PetSafe Wireless Electric Dog Fence

Best Overall: PetSafe Wireless Electric Dog Fence
Key features:
  • ½-acre coverage with 90-foot adjustable pet boundaries
  • Portable, easy-to-setup wireless pet containment system
  • Waterproof, lightweight collar with audio and static correction
  • Five adjustable tone and static settings
  • Requires no digging and no burying of wires

Easy to set up and versatile, this Wireless Containment System from PetSafe is an effective way to create outdoor boundaries for your pooch. And, as this wireless dog fence doesn’t involve any digging or laying of wires, it can be set up as a DIY job in a couple of hours without any professional installation help. At ½ an acre, the boundary coverage is not the largest, but for domestic gardens and yards it should be ample. You also get 50 boundary flags and, as you can buy extra transmitters, it is possible to extend the perimeter if you need more space.

This PetSafe Wireless Dog Fence comes with a waterproof and rechargeable collar and includes five adjustable settings, for both audio and static correction and there is an easy to see low battery indicator, so you get plenty of warning when the collar needs more juice.

What others say about it:

I have a wireless containment system that has been messing up so I called and they are sending a brand new one for free. This was the easiest warrantied product to go by and I highly recommend this for anyone.

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2 Best Waterproof: Extreme Dog Fence Standard Grade Kit

Best Waterproof: Extreme Dog Fence Standard Grade Kit
Key features:
  • Choice of 500 to 2500 feet of boundary wire with Gauges 14 to 20
  • 25-acre effective coverage with submersible and waterproof wiring system
  • Waterproof dog collar receiver, splice kits, training flags
  • High-tensile strength boundary wire protected with heavy-duty jacket

While most electric fences for dogs come with gauge 20 wiring, the Extreme Dog Fence provides gauge 14 wires. These wires are bigger and so provide a much safer electrical pathway for the system to work. And this means the Extreme Dog Fence gives you get a very reliable dog fence system.

The transmitter itself is feature-rich, and provides an impressive range, so you can create a boundary line that can cover up to 10 acres. It is highly customizable, too, so you can make sure it won’t interfere with other electronic systems and includes an internal computer that can compensate for any temperature fluctuations or weather extremes. Add in a power surge protector and the Extreme Dog Fence is a real confidence booster. 

With a waterproof and full adjustable dog collar that has seven correction settings as well as a beep only function, you can also order additional collars to make this set up ideal for the multiple dog family too.

What others say about it:

Very easy to put in. We used a gas powered edger. Dogs haven’t left the yard since!

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3 Best Rechargeable: SportDOG Brand Electric Dog Fence

Best Rechargeable: SportDOG Brand Electric Dog Fence
Key features:
  • With 1000-foot 20-Gauge boundary wire
  • 100 flags covering 1.3 acres; expandable up to 100 acres
  • Waterproof dog collar receiver with 4 static correction levels and anti-linger feature
  • Wall-mounted fence transmitter with weather and electrical protection
  • Wire break alarm

The SportDog is a mid-price in-ground dog fence system that can think big when it comes to expanding your perimeter. The kit includes enough wire to core a 1.3-acre property, with the option to purchase additional wire and flags to bump up to a grand total of 100 acres. There are also enough features and functions to enable you to adapt the whole system to both your property and your dog. 

The receiver collar is waterproof and is powered by a rechargeable Li-Ion battery which has an average charge life of around two months. And the collar itself is fully adjustable, with four levels of static correction in addition to the tone and vibration modes. The transmitter can be easily mounted on a wall. It is also weather durable and comes with built-in power surge and lightning strike protector. There is  also an alarm system to alert you if there’s a break in the integrity of the system, so you have total peace of mind when you pooch is outside. 

What others say about it:

This fence is perfect for a wild young lab. Two zaps and he now knows where he cannot go. Pay attention to how to train the dogs with the white flags and you will have a good dog in a week. I searched and searched for other brands and saw this one at a friends. After seeing it, I bought one too and it is more

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4 Easy to Install: TTPet Electric Dog Fence

Easy to Install: TTPet Electric Dog Fence
Key features:
  • Up to ¾ acre customizable coverage
  • For above or below ground
  • Waterproof and lightweight receiver
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Can be used with multiple dogs

Easy to install, either above or below the ground, this well-priced dog containment system can cover up to ¾ acre of land. Then all you need to do is fit the receiver to your dog’s collar and he will get to know his boundaries. The collar will work automatically if your pooch crosses the line or starts to get close by emitting a pet safe shock to let him know he has gone too far. Your pup will quickly learn where he shouldn’t go and know the play area he should stay in and enjoy, whether that’s a large space or a smaller yard. The beauty of this containment system is that it can work with multiple dogs, but you do need to buy additional receivers. Each receiver is rechargeable and waterproof and should fit dogs from 12 to 150 pounds.

What others say about it:

So far so good. Very easy setup. Update: We have had it for a couple of weeks now and it works great. Our 95lbs Labrabull will not go near our wood fence that he has been jumping on. Our fence is old and he keeps breaking it. Love it!

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5 All Life Stages: Dogtra E-Fence 3500 Underground Electric Fence

All Life Stages: Dogtra E-Fence 3500 Underground Electric Fence
Key features:
  • Underground containment system
  • Up to 40-acre range
  • Filter system to prevent interference
  • Lightweight and waterproof receiver
  • Powered by rechargeable batteries

The Dogtra is an excellent choice if you have a large space you need to fence off as its coverage range can go up to an impressive 40 acres. This system does need to be set up underground but it offers a fully customizable function so you can allow for surface obstacles as well as smaller range sizes. And you can adjust the range of the boundary at any time, thanks to the easy-to-use transmitter. What we also like about the Dogtra is its filtering system, which prevents any outside electrical sources from interfering with or accidentally activating the fence. There are two forms of alerts for your dog too – a decent vibration which lets your pet know they are getting close and a correction alert in the form of a short correction shock which will condition your dog to stay within their boundaries. Lightweight and waterproof, the receiver is durable enough to be used every day, the batteries are rechargeable, and you have the option of buying a two-dog version if you have more than one pet.

What others say about it:

My mastiff and black lab stay within the property lines no matter the temptation. The training was easy to follow and the collars are very effective. The only hard work was the install. Do yourself a favor and rent a small trencher. I used an aftermarket heavier gauge wire with some variable depths for the 1500’ and it’s perfect!

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6 Best Wireless: PetSafe Stay & Play Dog Wireless Fence

 Best Wireless: PetSafe Stay & Play Dog Wireless Fence
Key features:
  • 0.75-acre coverage with 105-feet adjustable pet zones
  • Tone and 5-level static correction
  • 3-week rechargeable collar battery life
  • Easy to setup

The Stay and Play Wireless Fence is a step up from PetSafe’s Wireless Fence Pet Containment System, adding an extra ¼ acre to its total range. And as well as a total of 0.75 acres for creating your pooch’s safe outdoor space, you also get an increased radius on its pet zones. But what really makes this wireless dog fence stand out is its size, with a tiny and portable transmitter unit making this a compact and sleek operator. It can also be used with smaller dogs too – it’s safe for pooches from five pounds in weight – and can have extra collars added if you have more than one dog as well as using the whole kit in conjunction with other PetSafe wireless fence systems.

The receiver collar is both lightweight and waterproof which makes it more comfortable for your doggo and fully adjustable too, with five levels of static correction and audible tones. And as it is fast charging, to give you a three-week battery life, there should be no  interruption to you pup’s quality time outside. 

What others say about it:

After reading all the reviews we were a little hesitant to purchase but I’m so glad we did. It took a little time to get set up, more than i was anticipating but once we found the perfect spot, it was great! Our dog is a 70 lb shepherd mix and he got shocked on the leash once, hated it, then once off the leash initially, he has never been shocked since. He stays in our yard and we love it!! Even if a runner is going by or another dog, he just sits down. He learned fast for a puppy, this fence is awesome!

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7 Best Safe Collar: Pet Control HQ Electric Dog Fence System

Best Safe Collar: Pet Control HQ Electric Dog Fence System
Key features:
  • 492-foot 13-Gauge boundary wire with 50 training flags
  • Expandable coverage to 100 acres
  • Tone, 10-level vibration, and 3-level static correction
  • Heavy-duty dog collar with IPX7 waterproof rating

Ideal for larger properties as it can be expanded to up to 10 acres with additional kit, Pet Control HQ’s Electric Dog Fence System is also flexible enough to be used in smaller spaces and can be easily customized to fit. The kit has 500ft of heavy-duty wire that is tough enough for a range of terrains and you also get a generous number of topside flags to help in the training of your pet, who should soon get used to his boundary. 

There is only one receiver collar although you can add more, and each collar is rated to IPX7 when it comes to waterproofing. There are 10 levels of vibration to give your pooch plenty of warning and three static correction levels, so he knows when he has gone too far. The main  restriction is that this electric fence is not suited to smaller dogs and is rated as best for pets over 11 pounds. 

What others say about it:

I got this product because it had the Vibrate option on it and I prefer to use it over the shock with my Pits and for the ability to have one controller for 2 dogs. However the one thing I really loved about this product was the Help Desk and Customer Service Reps. I had just gotten the product when I moved into a new house and somehow lost all the instructions and other paperwork on the product. I reached out to the Help Desk/Customer Service people and not only did they walk me through it barney style (not a techno anything) but they emailed me all the supporting documents and instruction manuals within Minutes of talking to them. AWESOME company and product. Would suggest to anyone that is looking for dog products.

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8 Budget Pick: MASBRILL Electric Dog Fence

Budget Pick: MASBRILL Electric Dog Fence
Key features:
  • Durable wire for underground use
  • Provides up to 4/5-acre range
  • Rechargeable, waterproof collar
  • Adjustable boundary levels
  • Beep alert as dog approaches

Covering up to 4/5 of an acre, this is a pretty easy to set up dog fence system from Masbrill, which includes 656ft of copper wire which you do need to install underground. But the effort is worth it with this well-priced dog containment kit as you then simply need to set the signal, pop the collar on your dog and off you go! There are 100 levels to this system which can be adjusted to create the boundaries for your dog. And the warning is staggered so your pooch gets plenty of opportunity to turn back. The beeps are graded to include a mild electric shock once your pooch gets too close, with the intensity increasing as he steps over the set boundary, meaning he should learn quite quickly where he shouldn’t go. And the wire is durable so should last and the collars are waterproof, so up to everyday use.

What others say about it:

This item just saved our lives. Easy to install, easy to use, easy to regulate and perfect performance.
We love it and it is definitely a must for Open spaces! Thanks MASBRILL

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9 4 Levels of Correction: PetSafe Basic In-Ground Electric Dog Fence

4 Levels of Correction: PetSafe Basic In-Ground Electric Dog Fence
Key features:
  • 1/3-acre coverage; expandable to 5 acres
  • Lightweight, waterproof, 4-level static correction with tone-only dog collar
  • Electrical surge protection
  • 2-month battery life

If you are on a budget, then check out this In-Ground Electric Dog Fence from PetSafe. It may be ‘basic’, but it gives you all the essentials you need to create an effective boundary for your pet, up to a third of an acre. And all for less than $100. You can also extend the system to up to five acres if you purchase additional wire and flags.

Within the set you also get one dog collar but again, you can buy more if you are a multiple pets household, with each lightweight and waterproof collar suited to pets over eight pounds in weight. There are also four levels for the static correction as well as a tone-only option and the battery powered collar has a two-month life on a single charge. Add in 50 training flags and transmitter with electrical surge protection and you have a good value and very workable in-ground dog fence system for your money. 

What others say about it:

My little jumper can’t get out anymore. Got zapped and now is scared to get close to the fence. It’s a good thing but I feel like I’m being mean at the same time. At least I have help now!!! Thank you chewy!!!

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10 Best for Training: COVONO Electric Dog Fence

Best for Training: COVONO Electric Dog Fence
Key features:
  • Durable and flexible over or underground wires
  • Covers up to ¾ of an acre
  • Lightweight and waterproof collar receiver
  • Beep then shock boundary alert
  • Speed detector function

For either under or overground use, the Covono electric Dog Fence is a tough piece of kit, with the wire improved to be thicker without losing the necessary flexibility. The result is a versatile set up to safely contain your pet, in a space up to ¾ of an acre. And you can extend this boundary if needed by purchasing extending wires. The collar receiver your dog wears is not too big and is also waterproof for when the weather turns. Once set up, the receiver will first beep as your dog approaches the set boundary before emitting a short shock once he gets too close or crosses the line. It also has a speed detection function so the faster your dog runs towards the boundary, the more intense the corresponding shock will be. The intention is to stop your dog in his tracks and keep him safely where he is meant to be.

What others say about it:

Works great! Really is nice not to have to put up a chain link fence, that wouldn’t keep our jumper in anyway!

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11 PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence System

PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence System
Key features:
  • Adjustable Receiver Collar
  • Waterproof Receiver Collar
  • Perfect for training dogs with hearing impairment
  • Transmitter with a power adapter
  • Best for dogs which are difficult to train

If your pooch is more on the difficult side or is a larger or stronger dog, you may need a little extra control when it comes to safely training him to stick within his home boundaries. And the PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence System has been designed to help you do exactly that. With all the functionality and features you would expect from a quality dog fence, PetSafe has also included four static correction settings which have a higher intensity than the more standard set up. The audible pre-warning alarm has been pimped up too, to give your tenacious pooch a chance to turn back, plus there is a vibration mode if your pet has hearing issues – or choses to have selective hearing.

For the value price, you get coverage of up to 1/3 acre, which can be expanded to 25 acres with additional wire.  With fifty training flags, option for additional waterproof collars and low battery indicator also included, this in-ground fence kit could be your solution to keeping your stubborn or more difficult to train pet safely where they should be. 

What others say about it:

I live on 5 acres in a rural forested area of Northwest Montana. My50lb very stubborn husky puppy kept eyeballing our neighbors steer calves,, he wanted to play. The neighbor threatened to shoot my dog so my nephew found this product. He got it all set up using 2 additional spools of wire, introduced it to my pup and I’ve not had anymore problems. He stays in his very large play area. I’m ordering another collar for my 5 mo old 40lb Great Pyrenees pup so they can play and not wonder. Great product!

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12 Earlyhights Underground Electric Dog Fence System

Earlyhights Underground Electric Dog Fence System
Key features:
  • Underground wire system
  • Up to 5-acre range
  • Wire coverage of ½-acre
  • 10 levels plus speed detection
  • Comes complete with two receiver collars

A good choice if you have a larger outdoor space or like to shorten or widen the boundaries, this containment kit from Earlyhights gives you up to 5 acres of transmission cover and enough wire for up to ½ acre of land. You get 10 levels of warning from the transmitter and can adjust the strength of the shock as they get too close. And the added speed detection function means you can stop a bolting dog safely in their tracks. The kit comes with two waterproof collar receivers that each offer around 500 hours of use on a single two-hour charge. Each collar is fully adjustable to fit dogs up to 180 pounds and you can buy more collars if you have multiple pets. An easy to install and use containment kit for a mid-range price.

What others say about it:

Great product at a great value. You do not need to spend a enormous amount of money for an effective product. This product has been installed and works great for 2 medium size dogs. Customer service was fantastic, as they were able to help with an Isuzu’s after a lighting storm.

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13 My Pet Command Wireless Dog Fence System

My Pet Command Wireless Dog Fence System
Key features:
  • Polyolefin coated wire
  • Transmitter plus handheld remote
  • Beep and static correction
  • Waterproof, rechargeable collar
  • Includes flags and ultrasonic whistle

An effective way to train your dog to stay close, whether out on a walk or playing in the yard, this kit may have a higher price-tag, but you do get a lot for your money. First up is the core containment system, with 492ft of wire, which does need to be installed underground. However, we like the topside flags which help you see the boundary and can visually support your dog in knowing where he can and can’t go. The waterproof and adjustable collar receivers are easy to fit and emit first a beep and then a static correction with an added vibration to let your pooch know they have gone too far. The transmitter unit is logical to set up and you also get a handheld transmitter to use as a training aid when out with your pet on a walk. Add in an ultrasonic training whistle, USB wall charger plus the option to buy additional collars and wire cable and you have a nicely performing containment kit you can make work for your own home set up.

What others say about it:

I like the fact that I can use it as a remote E Collar and yet still have my fence all on the same collar. This is an amazing device so far so good!

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14 PetSafe Stay & Play Wireless Fence

PetSafe Stay & Play Wireless Fence
Key features:
  • Adjustable receiver collar
  • Resistant against water and rain
  • Comes with 50 training flags
  • Wireless boundary; no wires to bury
  • Long-lasting battery

The PetSafe Free to Roam Wireless Fence allows you to create a secure restricted area in your compound without the need to install a physical fence; Without a dog fence, you have to keep an eye on your dog when outdoors. Resting in the garden and reading a book is only possible to a limited extent if you are a responsible dog owner. That’s why this efficient fence comes in handy. It is extremely easy to set up and can also be used when camping with the family due to its portability. It also comes with an adjustable receiver collar which can fit the neck of most dog breeds, regardless of size. The PetSafe Wireless Dog Fence receiver collar is also waterproof with a personalized setting; enabling you to train your dog to a particular sound. The collar offers a long battery lifespan which lasts for about two months.

What others say about it:

We got the fence the next day after ordering it and started training the next day. We followed the training instructions and she is trained to stay in the area as directed. Easy set up. We like the portability of the product.

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Best Electric Dog Fence: Buying Guide & FAQs

Does an Electric Fence for Dogs Work?

Dog in american flag scarf on driveway of luxury house

As long as it is set up correctly, your pooch is sufficiently familiarized and trained to respect the boundary, he is wearing the receiver collar unit and the whole system is well-maintained, then yes, an electric fence for dogs should work. 

The idea behind the invisible fence concept is that a dog’s behavior can be modified by an external stimulus. And so the warning and/or mild shock is intended to condition the dog to associate the audible or physical sensation with a corrective action – eg. to move back within the boundary. 

Whether you choose an in ground dog fence, a wireless electric dog fence, or an underground fence where you bury the wires, an invisible dog fence will create an unseen barrier to keep your pet safely contained. All these systems use a transmitter which monitors the boundary wires to detect if your pooch is getting too close. 

Your dog will wear a collar-mounted receiver that will emit an audible warning if he goes within a set distance of the wire boundary, with the collar primed to issue a short shock if they are too close or cross the line. 

Doing your prep work in terms of working out and planning the most effective perimeter will also ensure your dog has enough space to happily roam while keeping him safe on your property. But there is no absolute guarantee that your dog will 100% respect the boundary, 100% of the time, so adequate supervision may be required, depending on your dog and the location of the invisible fence. 

Will an Invisible Pet Fence Hurt my Dog?

A young Boston Terrier dog looking intently out of curiosity

It is understandable for responsible dog owners to have this concern. While an electric fence will not hurt your dog, it does give off a mild electrical shock, similar to static, which can be – very briefly – uncomfortable. The shock is designed to surprise or grab their attention and ultimately halt them in their tracks and get them to correct their behavior – i.e. to move back inside the boundary.

Your dog will receive the shock – as well as the audible warning tone beforehand – via a waterproof and rechargeable transmitter on your dog’s collar, which is wirelessly linked to the electric fence’s transmitter. Most collars will have a range of settings so you can also adjust the strength of the correction shock and as they are powered by a battery, the strength of the current is limited. And with many models, you can opt for the collar to be on tone only mode.

Not all pet owners will want to use such a physical way to train or discipline their pet, it really is a matter of personal choice. And the use of invisible fencing is not advised for younger dogs and puppies under six months of age, or older pooches who may have health issues. However, as long as your dog is fit and well, an electric or invisible dog fence is safe to use.

Benefits of an Invisible Dog Fence

basset hound in front yard

With the same intention as an in-ground electric dog fence, an invisible dog fence can be an equally effective way to safely contain your dog in his home outdoor space. But while an in-ground fence is a physical boundary just like an ordinary fence, an invisible dog fence is just that – invisible. 

Here are the main benefits of opting for a wireless or invisible dog fence:

It is Less Intrusive 

An electric fence, whether it’s in-ground, wireless or underground, is more discreet than a physical wooden or metal fence.  And they are a good way to create a boundary area for your pet without having to do too many major alterations to your garden. And, if you opt for an invisible, underground fence, it is kept out of the way and won’t interfere with your everyday use of your outdoor space. 

You Can Customize the Boundaries

Another particular plus for an underground or wireless fence system is that they give you more opportunity to customize the shape of your boundary, although you will need some skill in installation. 

They Can be Cheaper than a Physical Fence

A physical wooden, chain, or metal fence can be expensive, depending on the size of your yard or outdoor space, plus they can be labor intensive, as well as costly to install and maintain. An underground electric dog fence system, in particular, can also be more durable, especially in stormy or windy weather, although it may be affected by extreme heat or cold. 

Easy to Maintain

On the whole, an electric dog fence can be easier and more cost-effective to care for and repair, with the general cost tied up in maintenance related to replacing batteries and potentially fixing a broken wire. 

Supports Your Dog’s Freedom to Play

The reason you are considering an electric dog fence is that you want to give your pet the space and freedom to get outside as well as play, which are good for their health and wellbeing. Used properly, they can also give you peace of mind that your pooch is where they should be, and not causing a nuisance in the neighborhood!

What to Look for in Electric Dog Fences

Beautiful Drathaar dog with electric shock collar

There are three main types of electric dog fences to choose from – a physical above ground fence, a wireless fence, and a wired fence you bury under the ground. Whichever type of dog fence suits your home set up, there are some essential things you need to consider:

Your dog’s needs: Top of your list when choosing an electric dog fence should be your pet and how active he is as well as his age, outdoor space needs and health. 

Each dog fence should have a guide to the acceptable minimum weight of the dog it is intended for, as smaller dogs may need a specific type of fence to work effectively. And ensure your dog is old enough before you opt for an electric fence containment system, as they can be harmful to the development of puppies and young dogs. 

You also need to take into consideration how your pet reacts to other dogs as it is important to remember that, while an electric dog fence is intended to keep your pooch in, it won’t keep other canines out. 

Your garden’s shape: Electronic dog fences are a good choice for most gardens as they can be adjusted to fit and are particularly useful if you have a less than square-shaped garden, or a garden that includes many features and levels. For awkward-shaped gardens, an underground dog fence is a versatile choice.

Coverage: Knowing in advance the perimeter area you need to cover with your electric fence will ensure you choose a product that has a transmitter with a sufficient range. Your final choice also needs to be influenced by the ground (is it suitable to dig down in?), the type of terrain as well as any obstacles such as trees or outbuildings which may disrupt the wireless coverage.

The collar system: Some electric dog fence kits come are designed for a single dog, which means you need to be prepared to buy extra collars if you have more than one pet. But do check if the transmitter covers more than one pet first. 

The size of the collar needs to be suitable for your dog and is lightweight and comfortable enough for them to wear all day. Your dog’s fur can also affect the ability of the system’s collar to work, so if you have a long-haired breed, make sure the prongs on the inside of the collar are long enough to reach through all that fluff. Other factors to consider include whether the collar is waterproof, made from durable material and the battery has a long recharge life. 

Static correction level: The collar needs to have a way of adjusting the level of static shock, as well as an audible warning, your dog will get as it comes close to, and even crosses the set fence boundary. Look for a system that has a choice of different static levels so you can adjust accordingly depending on your pet’s size, health, and temperament, as well as age. And, if your pooch has hearing issues, look for a collar system that also includes visual alerts such as lights. 

Safety systems: Power surges, as well as low battery life, can impact the effectiveness of your electric dog fence system, ultimately putting your dog at risk as he may be able to roam further than is safe for him to do. So, choosing a system that also includes appropriate safety systems is strongly advised. Look for safety systems that include power surge overrides (wireless systems are best set up for this) as well as system failure notifications will enable you to nip any boundary breaches due to power issues in the bud.

Battery type: If your electric dog system is battery powered rather than the more traditional fence system which is mains fed, look for rechargeable batteries with a long charge life, which will save you both time and money, especially if your pooch loves his yard and spends plenty of time outside. 

Easy to install and use: Especially if you are doing it yourself, you don’t want an over-complicated system that is difficult to install and set up. Wireless above-ground electric dog fence will be quicker to install, while an underground system, which requires a little ‘excavation’ work will take a little longer.

How to Install Electronic Dog Fence

If you are at all unsure as to how to install your new electric dog fence, you can hire a professional installer to do the work for you. But if you are going down the DIY route, always follow the manufacturer’s specific instructions as each model and brand can be different.

However, here is a basic guide on what you need to know about installing a dog fence system:

Get the location right: Whether it is a ground dog fence, a wireless fence or one of the underground invisible fences, the boundary should be at least 10 feet away from the perimeter of your garden. You should also research your property so you know where all the underground pipes and water lines are (you should avoid these when digging!)

Wireless: This is one of the easiest types to install. Once you have drawn out your perimeter and identified any ‘no-go zones’, you set up the transmitter in a dry, secure place such as a garage, place the flag posts in the desired locations around the garden to create your dog’s boundary space. Then set their collar to the desired levels and start their training (more on this later).

Underground invisible wires: For an underground system, you will need to do some digging! But before you do, the process is the same as the wireless or above ground electric fence in that you need to plot the boundary of your dog’s run space exactly, then mark it out above ground. Connect the transmitter to the wire to test it, then dig down to the depth specified by the manufacturer and place the wire in the shallow trench. Test the connection again before filling in and your invisible dog fence is good to go. 

How to Train a Dog to Use a Wireless Dog Fence

So, your new dog fence system is in place, you now need to get your pooch to know its boundaries and enjoy their time outside. You need to introduce your dog carefully and patiently to the system, as well as the collar and the sensations it can emit, and allow him time to work out the boundary for himself. And without sympathetic training handled with love and care, your furry friend won’t be able to understand why they are feeling that static shock or what they have ‘done wrong’. 

If you are unsure how to get your pet set up with an electric fence system, seek help from a professional dog trainer. Otherwise, here’s a quick guide to giving your dog and his new invisible fence the chance to work:

  • Place flags (which should be provided as part of your kit) at intervals around the perimeter of your invisible electric fence. These will provide a temporary visual reference for your pet.
  • Put their collar transmitter to the audible tone only setting and holding it in your hand, let you pooch sniff and explore it. Now approach the fence boundary with your dog on a leash until the collar sets off the warning alarm. As it goes off bring your pup back a few paces and reward with praise. 
  • Repeat this several more times, approaching different flags and praising your dog every time until you start to see him resisting when you move towards a flag.
  • Do this for a few more days then start to add in the static shock correction setting at a low setting, but enough to catch your dog’s attention.  Praise every time he reacts appropriately by halting or walking away. 
  • Now test your pet by throwing a ball or his favorite dog toy beyond the boundary. If he stops at the boundary or doesn’t move after the toy, heap him with praise.
  • Keep this training up in short sessions of no more than 15 minutes for at least a week and until you are confident that he is getting it before you take your dog off the lead.
  • Repeat the sessions and gradually extend the time he is left off his lead inside his boundary area of the garden. Now start removing the visual flags, a couple at a time every few days until you feel happy, he’s got with the program, and you can remove them all.
  • When you feel ready and your dog is responding to the boundary as he should, move away and even out of sight when your dog is in the yard.

Top tips: Keep the training upbeat and fun, with lots of praise and rewards, with each session short so you don’t frustrate or wear your dog out. And always finish your daily training with a good old play session in which your dog is in charge!

What is the Cost of Invisible Fence?

Depending on the system, an invisible dog fence can start at around $200 – $400 for a DIY kit, rising to $1,500 or more, if you opt for professional installation. With most kits, you will also need to pay for extra collars if you have multiple dogs, which are on average around $50 each.

Another factor to consider if you are not going to train your dog yourself to use the invisible fence will be training plus any additional wire if your boundary area is on the larger size. And don’t forget ongoing maintenance, including new batteries if this is how your system is powered.

Frequently Asked Questions

Designed to be used outdoors, heat or cold should not adversely affect the performance of a good electrical wired or invisible dog fence which has effective weatherproofing. But if the weather is extreme, snow or ice for example, it is worth checking that the electrical wire or wireless signal is still working before you let your pooch out as the signal or current may be slower than optimum. 

The recommended safe range for an electric fence for dogs is between 700-1000 volts. However, most products will come with adjustable settings to you can ensure the voltage is at the appropriate level for your pet, depending on his size and age.

No, the electric dog fence does not necessarily have to make a complete loop to work effectively. However, the electrical current does, so that means the wire needs to loop back to the transmitter to complete the circuit. 

In an ideal world, your dog will quickly get used to his electrical boundary and with sufficient introduction and training, stay within its confines. However, it is possible for a dog to run through the invisible boundary. And the main reason will be some sort of product malfunction, such as a broken wire or a collar that has run out of its charge meaning there is no electrical shock to stop your pooch in his tracks.

To minimize the risk of your dog running through an electric fence, ensure he has been trained properly in how to stay within the boundary and check it is fully functioning before you let your pup out. 

When introducing your dog to a new invisible electric fence set up and as part of his initial training, you will use flag markers to indicate the set boundary area and where a warning will be emitted if your dog crosses over. As well as letting you know where the boundary limits are, these flags are intended to be visible clues for your dog so he can instinctively learn where the edges of the fence are. Initially your dog will over-step the mark and experience the warning beeps as well as corrective shock given out by the fence system if he continues to proceed. The presence of the flags will help him to learn where his boundaries are.

The flags can be removed gradually in pace with your training and as your dog takes it all on board and successfully memorizes the fence’s border. 

As the strength of the electric shock emitted by a dog fence through the collar is adjustable, and even at a higher setting is still mild, your small dog will not be hurt. However, it is a concern, some manufacturers also make electric fences specifically designed for smaller dogs.

Opting for a small dog product not only gives you peace of mind that the shock will be sufficiently mild, and so safe, but you will also get a collar that will be sized to fit a smaller pooch.

As well as impacting less on your garden, burying the wire for an invisible dog fence will also protect the wire as well as prevent any trip accidents on the surface. But it is also important not to bury it too deeply, otherwise it could interfere with the strength of the signal. Go too deep and you could also disturb other buried lines for your home’s utilities. 

Always refer to the user manual of the invisible pet fence you have purchased, but as a rough guide, the typical depth range is somewhere between three and 24 inches.  

Before your pooch gets to the actual fence line, he will have to cross over a pre-set boundary which will then emit a warning in the form of an audible beep from the linked dog collar. There will then be a corrective range up to the fence itself, so that if your dog goes too near to or beyond the line, a mild electric shock will be given, which an increase in intensity. 

The intention of the audible warning and the progressive shock is to indicate to your dog to stop and return to within his safe boundaries. 

  1. Russell Curry
    Apr 04, 2022

    I need a phone number to talk to someone about these fences

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